Skip to comments.Spitzer's Crack-Pot Tax (proposed making drug dealers pay tax on their stashes of illegal drugs)
Posted on 02/17/2008 7:26:04 AM PST by jdm
Governor Eliot Spitzer has already built himself quite the record in his first term running New York. He has conducted a politically-motivated investigation of his main opponent in the state legislature and then co-opted the man supposedly investigating him, and he briefly demanded that illegal immigrants get drivers licenses. Now he wants to raise taxes in order to help solve a massive deficit -- but you're not going to believe how he wants to do it:
If you can't beat it, tax it.
That seems to be the axiom in New York these days, where Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer (D), struggling to close a $4.4 billion budget gap, has proposed making drug dealers pay tax on their stashes of illegal drugs. The new tax would apply to cocaine, heroin and marijuana, and could be paid with pre-bought "tax stamps" affixed to the bags of dope.
Some critics in the legislature are asking what the governor has been smoking.
"I guess if it moves, he'll tax it," said Republican state Sen. Martin J. Golden, who dubbed the proposal "the crack tax." Some opponents said that because cocaine and weed would be subject to the new levies, it should more aptly be called "the crack-pot tax."
On the other hand, Democrats in the state legislature ... well, they can't believe it either. One member from Harlem wondered how anyone could practically collect tax from dealers who operate mainly to support their own habit. Many of them steal just to afford the drugs; they're not going to have a lot of extra cash lying around when the tax collector comes to garner the proceeds.
Other states have passed similar laws, but the intention in those cases was never to generate a reliable revenue stream. The laws got passed in order to have another set of charges to press when prosecuting drug dealers, making confiscations more palatable. In many cases, they have been thrown out or neutered for 5th Amendment reasons, ie, one cannot be required to admit to illegal activity to comply with another law.
Only Eliot Spitzer has seriously proposed that the state of New York could help make up its budget deficit through tax stamps on nickel bags. If he thinks that creating a new tax regime and enforcement mechanism on illegal drugs will bring in more money than it costs, then Spitzer must really be smoking something tax free at the moment.
Talk about a mentally ill governor.
If New York taxed stupidity Spitzer alone could settle the national debt. What a dumbass.
I went to the site to look around, is this like scrappleface? LOL
Having a moron for a goobernor is soooo much phun...
It’s already the law in a few states.
This is why drugs are big business and here to stay. Everyone wants a cut.
The tax law idea is nothing new - that is how the feds outlawed drugs in the first place.
The moronic part - and I mean astoundingly stupid - is that Spitzer, in his budget, claimed that they would be paid.
oh, I got it........I just cannot believe the doofus is that ignorant.....it’s kinda like the gun laws...they are criminals because they do not follow the laws to begin with, which makes gun laws just another law they will ignore.....I thought it HAD to be scrappleface or the onion at work here.
Who left the lock off of his cage?
The Feds also grab income tax on confiscated drugs from fed cases.
Does NY have a balanced budget amendment or law? It seems to me that what spitzer is really doing is pretending that this is a revenue stream, so he can pretend to have a balanced budget.
What hapens when it turns out he was wrong? (Lying, actually) Does he get emergency powers of some sort, to do things that he would otherwise not get through the legislature?
This is just backdoor legalization.
One difference between the crackpot tax and the Capone conviction is that Capone was sent to prison for not paying taxes on income (yeah, I know you know that). It wasn’t specifically because that income was due to illegal alcohol trade, although that obviously was where the money came from.
This tax proposes to collect revenue on possession of illegal substances. Besides being a stupid proposal on Spitzer’s part, it would be unconstitutional since one would have to incriminate one’s self in order to purchase the stamps. Sort of like why a felon supposedly can not be convicted for not registering his illegally-possessed firearm.
NY,NJ, sinking ships, the cancer has won!
It's, "I'll look the other way if you give me money that I'll call taxes".
They have a smilar problem in California. Medical marijuana is legal and is being sold -- state sales taxes are supposed to be collected on it. BUT, Proposition 215 never did legalize and authorize the sale of medical marijuana. You can grow it and use it, but selling medical marijuana is, technically, illegal under California law.
"To bring medical marijuana retailers into compliance, the board updated its guidelines to allow them to obtain a seller's permit. Previously, the state banned people selling illegal items from getting permits."
"The board also changed the permit application so that retailers wouldn't have to disclose what they were selling, making it difficult (for the federal government -- rp) to track sales. Instead, medical marijuana sellers would have to sign a waiver."
Greedy, greedy governments will find a way to get tax money, won't they? "What you're doing is illegal even under state law but, if we get our piece, we'll look the other way."
Hemp is a very useful organic fiber that has been grown for thousands of years. George Washington grew it. During WWII the prohibition was suspended so farmers could supply hemp for rope for the war effort.
Congress knew they could never outlaw it, so they passed a tax on it. In order to possess it, you must buy a tax stamp from the Feds. Same with sawed-off shotguns and fully-automatic weapons - you can own them if you buy the tax stamp.
The trick is they made the cost of the stamp prohibitively high with hemp/marijuana.
Medical marijuana is legal in California but illegal federally. Our County Auditor has floated the idea of taxing the growth of marijuana in the county. It would really help our County coffers decimated by loss of the timber industry.
Not the first to pass a law, but the first to actually believe the state can fill a budget deficit from it.
Wallstreet is not going to be happy about this.